The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said:
“The LORD is with you, valiant warrior.”
Welcome to OVERCOMER Bible Study.
View the first film clip. This clip not only introduces key
characters but also presents the fundamental question
that fuels the entire narrative. Following the clip, discuss
the theme, using the steps provided.
Basketball coach John Harrison enters Principal Olivia Brooks’s office and learns
that the football program has been terminated. The main factory in town has
closed its doors, eliminating more than five thousand jobs. This closure is shrinking
the town and crushing high-school enrolment. Without enough players, athletic
programs are being cut. Olivia sees an opportunity to salvage the cross-country
team by having John take over. In his mind cross country isn’t even a real sport.
But John is given the responsibility, and it begins to unravel his identity.
1. What bad news does John receive in this segment?
2. Do you feel that John’s reaction is to be expected and normal or too severe,
considering the situation?
3. What’s John forced to give up, and what’s he asked to assume responsibility for?
Read Exodus 2:10-22. Brainstorm all of the titles and character traits
that could apply to Moses.
Read Exodus 3:1-6,9-14. What do these verses reveal about Moses
What changed about Moses’ nature between chapters 2 and 3?
Moses lived a life of luxury as a prince in Egypt, having been rescued and
raised by the daughter of Pharaoh. Consider his boldness to both the Egyp-
tian caught in abusing a Hebrew kinsman and the Hebrew whose behaviour
he addressed. That’s hardly the reluctant leader we encounter in chapter 3.
in which we learn that Moses had become a shepherd and an everyday hus-
band, father, and son-in-law. Moses was living a simple life under the radar
until God revealed His plan to use Moses to deliver the Israelites from slavery.
Moses offered a series of reasons he couldn’t serve God and lead Israel.
Why? The presuppositions Moses believed about himself and the opinions
others would undoubtedly perceive about him outweighed who the Creator
made Moses to be. He was living out an identity of his own making.
Read Judges 6:6-16.
What are the similarities and differences you see between Gideon and Moses?
Israel’s tribe of Manasseh, named for Joseph’s elder son, came in sixth of
the twelve tribes in the number of fighting-age men (see Num. 26)-hardly
the smallest tribe. When combined with Joseph’s younger son, Ephraim,
they surpassed any of Jacob’s sons. However, when Israel was oppressed
by Midian, Gideon claimed to be among the weakest clan in his tribe and the
weakest man in his family. Yet God described Gideon as a mighty warrior.
Has God, through His Word or His Spirit, ever called you to be more
than you thought possible? How did you respond?
Has the identity you built or claimed for yourself ever hindered your
willingness to become who God intended you to be? How?
Who you are starts with where you came from, includes where you’ve been,
and indicates where you’re going. If your identity is scripted by Almighty
God and is consistent with His Word, you’re living in the truth of who He
made you to be. Discovering and living that identity, as defined by God,
aifects everything about life. This endeavor is always worth the effort.
WHO YOU ARE STARTS WITH
WHERE YOU COME FROM
Create a list of people and priorities in your life that are important
to you. Be as specific as you like, but in some cases a category wil
suffice. For example, you can record “My family” instead of listing
each individual member.
Take inventory to make sure your list is complete, including items of even
Now the exercise becomes more challenging. Start marking entries off your
list in order, from least to greatest importance. Which ones can you live
without? Narrow your list to only two or three of your top priorities. Those
indicate not only what’s of great worth to you but also what’s absolutely
vital in making you who you are.
The old expression “You are what you eat” reminds you to make wise choices
about healthful eating, but it holds little weight in creating an identity.
A truer phrase is “You are what’s important to you.”
You define yourself by your values. The problem with that truth is the word
your, which implies your own sovereignty despite your vast limitations as
a mortal. Who are you to determine who you are? Even if you have that
authority, where was it derived from? Scripture has the answer.
Read Genesis 1:26.
God said, “Let us make man in our image, according to our likeness.
They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock,
the whole earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.
What description of humanity’s inherent nature and position did God
offer in this verse?
God didn’t wait to confer with the man to determine what his nature should
or shouldn’t include and what his calling or direction in life should be. God
also created you to bear His image. Right from the beginning, before any of
us were formed, God had a plan. For the couple in the garden, that included
a definitive purpose.
Read Ephesians 2:10 and rewrite it in your own words.
These words by Paul follow a powerful description of salvation (see vv. 8-9).
God has miraculously and graciously saved us to accomplish the purpose
How does knowing and being reminded of where you come from
and why you were created shape your identity?
Revisit your lists for the week, both the one you created in the group
session and the one you recorded at the beginning of this personal
study. Which descriptions of you and values you hold are consistent
with the image of God in you and the good work God planned for you?
Which ones might you need to reevaluate? End today’s study by ask-
Ing God to show you the priorities and pursuits you need to eliminate
and the ones you need to embrace in order to define yourself by His
purpose for you.
WHO YOU ARE INCLUDES
WHERE YOU’VE BEEN
An important exercise for any Christ follower is to compose a gospel testi-
mony. A basic formula is to answer the following three questions. Take time
to answer these if you haven’t done so lately.
What was your life like before Christ?
How did you encounter and begin to trust Christ?
What’s life like now as a follower of Christ?
A well-formed Christian identity comes from an understanding of the distinct
truth that God Almighty created us to bear His image and to follow His pur-
pose. It also incudes a keen, ready recognition of where we’ve been. All of
us began by living a life of sin and rebellion. Only when we trust Christ does
Along the way Israel suffered many consequences for its frequent refusal
to live according to God’s plans. That disobedience was sin. Why did people
who had tasted God’s goodness drift and adopt an identity apart from God.
Examine Genesis 3:1-6. In this early snapshot of human history, the first
man and woman chose to believe a lie, Why did they do that?
Based on what you read, specifically in verse 6, why did the couple succumb
to the serpent’s temptation?
Are there patterns of sin in your life that formed because you’ve
believed lies? Explain,
Are there patterns of sin in your life that formed because you chose
your own pleasure and what you perceived to be good? Explain.
Read Daniel 1:1-7.
It wasn’t enough to take over a nation in Nebuchadnezzar’s day. To ensure
Jong-lasting dominance, the culture of the ransacked nation had to be
replaced by that of Babylon. It was an effective leadership strategy. Nebu
chadnezzar selected leaders from the displaced people group and set out
to influence them first.
What were the criteria for Nebuchadnezzar’s chosen influencers among
The elements of the royal table in Babylon would have been prohibited by
Jewish dietary laws. Later in the chapter Daniel and a few friends requested
permission to avoid the rich diet. The implicit fact is that many of Israel’s
elite gave in. Was it the lust of the eyes, the lies of the enemy, or the over-
whelming pressure from their new surroundings that caused the unnamed
young men to give in?
All of us have been in a place where something or someone has lured us
away from God’s plan. Although that’s an awful place to remain, it’s not a
bad place to recall. Knowing where you’ve been points you to forgiveness
and gives God an opportunity to display the attributes of His character that
you need most.
If your sinful state has been repented of and forgiven, recalling the darkness
of that place provides good motivation never to return. An identity charac-
terized by forgiveness makes the best foundation for your life today.
Pray about any patterns of sin you identified today, Confess and ask God
to forgive you and to show you changes you can make to align your life
with His plan. If you’ve already received God’s forgiveness for ways you’ve
departed from His purpose, thank Him in prayer today.
WHO YOU ARE ULTIMATELY
In the group session you described who you are with declarative titles.
Perhaps you identified yourself by your family role, such as a parent, or by
a professional role, such as a teacher. Maybe you opted for more personal
characterizations or hobbies, like a dreamer or a reader.
How does the way you describe yourself shape the direction of your life
When a person operates in an identity other than the one God intended.
how does that identity affect the direction his or her life takes?
Recall your study of Moses and Gideon from the group session. Both Old
Testament heroes were blessed by a relationship with God. He defined who
they were and determined where they went.
Read Exodus 3:12-14. What promise did God make to Moses?
What did knowing God’s name provide for Moses?
Read Judges 6:16-22. What similar promise did God make to Gideon
How did God illustrate who He was to Gideon?
le what ways has God promised you His presence and revealed His identity to you?
Review your list of priorities in day 1. How do God’s presence
and identity script your priorities?
When identity is rooted in God’s truth, Christ followers don’t just know who
they’re meant to be. They more clearly see who God is and the path He lays
out for them to take. In Psalm 32 David’s summary of his life and connection
to God’s plan could easily describe both Moses and Gideon. It’s a good
description of our lives to.
Close this week by carefully reading Psalm 32. What qualities did David
mention that you’d like to be true of your identity?
Moses and Gideon were more than forgiven. They were called. They aban-
doned misunderstanding and followed God’s instruction. In God they were
Psalm 32:7 wonderfully applies to both Moses and Gideon. For God to be a
protective hiding place, He must be near. God called Moses and Gideon not
only to be people they didn’t think they could be but also to go to places
they didn’t think they could go and to accomplish tasks they felt ill-equipped
to accomplish. In addition, He promised to be with them along the way.
Who does God want you to be? What does He want you to do?
How confident are you to move ahead, knowing He’s with you?
If you’re unclear about the answers to these questions, simply ask
God to speak. Ask Him to give you ears to hear, a heart to obey,
and a willingness to take risks in order to go where He leads.